Christian sites in the Lower Galilee
Nazareth is the
capital of the Lower Galilee and the largest Arab city in the country, but
above all Nazareth is the city of Jesus, the founder of Christianity named
after the city of Nazareth. The Bible hardly mentions the young Jesus and we do
not know about his life in Nazareth until he was thirty years old. He spent
most of his time in the Torah and in the work he did, as a firstborn son, he
was forced to support the family after the death of his father. Jesus' father
was a carpenter who taught his son his art. Nazareth is sacred to Christians
because it sheds light on the sacred family, which is from Nazareth, and
especially Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Link to Nazareth
cultural & tourism association
Village is a living history farm and village that gives visitors the
opportunity to step into the Bible and experience everyday life at the time of
Jesus and Mary. Here you can see homes, olive
presses, figures dressed in traditional period costume and see demonstrations
of traditional crafts and domestic chores from 2,000 years ago. The site offers
an interactive experience where you can try your hand at different activities.
Mary's well is a Sabil (public water facility trough was a
gathering place for the city's residents and passers-by) located in the spring
square in the city of Nazareth. According to Orthodox tradition, the Virgin
used to draw water from the spring where the angel Gabriel told her of the
birth of Jesus. The source of the spring is a cave located thirty meters north
of the Orthodox Church of the Annunciation.
Church of Annunciation
The Annunciation Church in Nazareth stands on the site
believed to have been the Virgin Mary’s childhood home. According to Christian
Catholic tradition it is also where the Angel Gabriel appeared before her and
told her of her future son, the Messiah. The appearance of Gabriel, his
announcement and Mary’s consent to be the mother of God is known as the
Annunciation. A statue of young Mary as she would have been when the
angel came to her overlooks the southern entrance welcoming visitors.
Church of St. Joseph
The church is believed to be situated where Christ’s earthly
father, Joseph once had his home and carpentry workshop. This would then have
become the home of Mary as well following their marriage. The location first
became recognized as the home of the holy family in the 17th century when texts
referred to it as "the house and workshop of Joseph.” The Church of Saint
Joseph’s Carpentry is within the same complex as the Basilica of the
Annunciation together with the Franciscan convent Terra-Santa.
Mount of Precipitation
Just south of Nazareth is Mt. Precipitation overlooking the
Yizreal Valley and Mount Tabor. Mount of Precipitation is the place where according to
Christian tradition, people of Nazareth tried to throw Jesus to his death, but
he jumped into the abyss and fled from them. The official name of the mountain
is "Mount Kedumim ".
of Nazareth and KKL-JNF have developed special routes for walking on the
mountain and panoramas with a lovely view. Excavations at the Mount of
Precipitation uncovered the Qafzeh Cave which held prehistoric remains
including 13 Neanderthal-era skeletons dating back 100,000 years.
Kfar Kana is an Arab town about 7km northeast of Nazareth in
the Lower Galilee. The town is famed as the site of the New Testament miracle
performed by Jesus when he turned water into wine at a wedding feast. This
first miracle is significant in strengthening the disciples’ faith in Jesus.
This event is also referred to as the first of Jesus’ signs and as his first
Today visitors to Kana can see the Franciscan Wedding Church.
This small church has a front courtyard and a modest façade adorned with angel
sculptures. The façade is flanked by twin bell towers and the building is
topped by a dome.
The Greek Orthodox Church of the Marriage Feast is an
alternative site of the miracle and stands across from the Franciscan Wedding
Church. This church holds two stone jars which some believe to be two of the
original jars used by Jesus but they could also be early baptismal fonts.
Just 9km east of Nazareth is the Mount of Transfiguration where
Christians believe this to be the site of the transfiguration of Jesus. The
event described in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 17 of the New Testament,
describes the changing of Jesus before his disciples and his meeting with Moses
and Elijah the prophet. Christians see this event as analogous to the biblical
revelation at Mount Sinai.
Today the mount is a popular hiking and hand gliding site.
Visitors can go to the hill top church Franciscan Basilica or the Greek Church
on the eastern slope.